“Does your mom know anything about basketball? She got any eligibility left? Maybe I should sit you and suit her up instead. She’s hopped up on goofballs, so I bet she’s got a better chance at finding the net than you.”
Today’s strip is chock full o’ insults. First Aaron insults his mom, then one of the most intelligent of dog breeds. Gil then insults Tina’s ability to understand whether Aaron is playing well or not and, backhandedly, Aaron himself for suddenly being worried about what she thinks. Neither of them seemed so worried when they were diming Tina out last week.
Finally, the attention to detail in this strip – in the entire winter arc, for that matter – is a little insulting. I rejoined the TWIM rotation mid-arc so maybe I shouldn’t be one to throw stones, so I’m gonna ask the Milford SID to check me on this season recap:
Binghamton – W
@ Downsville – ?
@ Tilden – W
Oakwood – ?
Central – W
@ Tilden – W
Goshen – W
Madison – L
@ Jefferson – L
Valley Tech – W
“marginally adequate” game – ?
@ Oakwood – L
Central – W
Jefferson – today’s game
Am I off, or has Milford played Tilden on the road twice and Central at home twice? If I’m off, I’ll come back and update this post. In addition, Aaron started the season wearing uniform number 24 but since the second Central game has switched to number 11. Today he’s conceded #24 to the kid standing to his left. I just get the sense that, in his efforts to turn the past three months into A Very Special Gil Thorp, Rubin’s lost sight of the actual action that supposedly drives this strip.
So many questions at this point…
- Did Gil ever get a word in edgewise?
- When does Aaron stop addressing Gil and start addressing the guys in the locker room?
- I confess to not being familiar with the ins and outs of pill popping. Does ones addiction and associated tolerance become so severe that you can be seen to ‘snack’ on the pills?
- Did Gil take Aaron out for another round of milkshakes and slices of pie or is rage (aka frustration) all the fuel that this kid needs?
- How much had that Central fan in the background had to drink before he/she lettered that sign?
I am amazed, again, at how much this whole thing is just Gil winging it and largely deferring to AaAa’s whims.
Panel three raises all kinds of questions as Mike’s hangdog expression and Ken’s exploding eyeball suggests that they still feel like they should be solving the case of the kid who’s parents do drugs (and/or live in Norway).
So Gil helped Tina Aagard find a couple rehab programs? I guess his job extends even further into the realm of crisis intervention than we had surmised. We’ll just assume that Tina has adequate healthcare coverage through one of her jobs.
Since Gil arranged this on his own, Aaron’s welfare falls upon him, I guess. Mimi, put some fresh linens in the guest room and stock the freezer with Hot Pockets. We’re gonna have a guest for a little while. What rules? What boundaries? I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Yeah, you called me on it, Tina
I’m just a Milford wiener
Don’t coach, I just observe
But now I’ve started meddlin’
Someone’s got some Oxy’s peddlin’
Yeah, I got a lot of nerve
Phallic trophies I may brandish
Thanks to golden boy True Standish
Honors that I don’t deserve
But my team’s been gettin’ beaten
‘Cause your Aaron ain’t been eatin’
But I got a lotta nerve?
Now don’t be getting nervous
I’ll be calling Social Service(s)
‘Cause they’re only there to serve us
And we don’t all always get what we deserve…
Then you’re sure to lose your jobs,
Your car, your son. Some nerve!
Reason I like the color version of the strip today: without it, I’d have thought the furniture was made of the same plaster as the walls.
Reason I don’t like the color version of the strip today: Who has skintone teeth outside of a low-budget Hanna-Barbera cartoon?* Maybe I’m wrong and those are just Tina’s badly cracked lips.
*Speaking of meddlin’
It’s great how things rapidly drew to a head the second time Gil had to cover another $3.50 slice of banana cream pie. You can practically see him wince as the order goes in. Never mind all of that hypothetical checking in with counselors or social workers, Gil is just going to cut to the chase and straight up talk Tina out of her opioid addiction.
Hey, it’s Steve Boone! Nice to see him picking up a paycheck during the football off-season.
Credit where it’s due: Panel one is great. The court markings even look plausible. That said, it’s not at all clear where Aaaaaron’s revived moxie is coming from. Perhaps those leftover fries he snagged from Gil are still tiding him over.
Finally, if panel one doesn’t do it for you, please check out the lovingly rendered bare back in panel three. I’m not sure what’s going on with the shorts, but I’m also not sure how long I want to look at that drawing trying to figure it out.